Is this compatible with Marxist-Leninist principles? “The state has no interest to show it too austere in regard to the free markets,” declares a government guidance document: They do a better job of encouraging consumption and giving the necessary initiatives for the stimulation of production which brings up this tale of two Phnom Penh restaurants. The state-run Peace did poorly, the privately owned Pailin thrived. The state closed Pailin. Peace still did poorly. So the state closed Peace and reopened it under the management of the successful Pailin restaurateur. He is supposed to divide the proceeds with the state. “Business is great,” he says. “Each day it gets better.” Outside waits a white Mercedes. Now what’s this coming down the street? Uncle Sam in unflattering positions as the pal of China and Pol Pot Several times a day I am asked why my country upholds the Pol Pot presence in the United Nations. Nothing personal, though. Buying a basketball and a soccer ball for the orphanage, I tell the man at the Tuol Tumpoung sporting-goods stand that I suppose foreigners have to pay more. “Yes,” he replies, “especially imperialists.” But he’s grinning. That’s why on the road, sometimes, Vietnamese soldiers salute me. I always salute back. But to the buxom Tuol Tumpoung fish lady I am just a cheapskate: “Why you just look, you don’t buy!” OK, OK, I buy some of her scanner reviews to have them cooked back at the hotel. I also buy a bunch of freshly boiled gong tea kon, literally “egg duck baby”: Let ducks sit on their eggs for 18 days�then the best eggs will have big babies in them. Eat with pepper, salt, lemon, and a sprig of mint�it’s a Khmer treat. “They’ll give you strength, fortify the blood.” How did they taste? Sorry, at the last minute I chickened a son’s agony, a father’s pain: While herding water buffalo, 15-year-old Mith yon lost a leg to a live rocket he found in the fields. One companion died. Two others recovered from injuries. The Vietnamese doctor who amputated the boy’s leg told the GEOGRAPHIC team that he did not expect him to live. Following Kampuchean custom, the father, Chan Mith, or another family member will be with the boy at all times until he dies or recovers. Mines and booby traps pose added dangers in areas contested by guerrillas. Where Vietnamese troops rule by day and Khmer Rouge roam by night, villagers face the dilemma of living between implacable enemies. “While they’re planting rice in the fields,” says photographer Dave Harvey, “the war comes to them.” A black-market capital, Sisophon thrives on goods smuggled from Thailand, just 30 miles away. The government winks at smuggling and free trade that provide basics such as cloth (bottom right) as well as luxury items. Standard equipment at stalls in Sisophon, scales for weighing gold denote the surest medium of exchange, but new Kampuchean riels have also gained acceptance. Notes issued under Lon Nol, banned along with all currency by Pol Pot, are worth exactly as much as the paper they are printed on�handy for making shopping bags in the market Off to visit relatives, a family travels by oxcart past water buffalo on Route 5, main road link between Phnom Penh and Tonle Sap’s populous western shore A national vaccination program is drastically reducing a variety of diseases among the 35 percent of draft animals that survived the worst war years.
“An ocean of mountains” is how Norwegian explorer Carl Lumholtz described Mexico’s 900-mile-long Sierra Madre Occidental. Lumholtz (below) crisscrossed the vast range by mule, collecting thousands of Indian artifacts, from Huichol idols (facing page) to Casas Grandes pots (above). Setting out from Arizona Territory with 29 men—scientists, packers, guides—Lumholtz soon whittled his party down to a few Mexican and Indian muleteers. He pushed south through the Sierra Madre in three separate expeditions from 1890 through 1897 and returned briefly in 1898. His written record, a 1,026-page travelogue, Unknown Mexico, was an early, impassioned call for ethnic tolerance and Indian rights.